Was anything you own made with forced or child labor? It’s more likely than you think. Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor finally released a long-awaited report on the use of child labor or forced labor worldwide. The unsurprising result: Children and forced laborers work in agriculture, mining, and manufacturing worldwide.
Despite the common stereotype, there are some young people willing to work hard. Patrick found a job at Kmart since it is one of few stores that starts hiring at age 16. He was hired under the guise of Customer Service Representative, but Patrick soon realized he was really the “Coach’s Bitch.” Besides being treated as nothing more than a slaveboy, Patrick says he was instructed to do things that are illegal for minors. His letter, inside…
The Gap has pledged $200,000 to to improve working conditions in India, where only some forms of child labor are outlawed, and it also promised to tighten its own standards. The retailer canceled half of its orders with the vendor in India that was responsible for subcontracting the workshop in which children who had been sold to the factory were working off the debt by embroidering clothing for Gap Kids.
A freelance journalist has caught the GAP using child labor to produce hand embroidered clothing for its GAP Kids line. The children, who are as young as 10, are quoted as saying they were sold to the factory by their families and cannot leave until their debt is paid. A video of the factory’s squalid conditions shows GAP Kids labels on the clothing.